Wilson review – Woody Harrelson’s abrasive misfit fails to connect

Wilson review – Woody Harrelson’s abrasive misfit fails to connect

Drama

The Observer

2 /
5 stars

Daniel Clowes’s graphic novel does not translate well to the big screen, despite the star’s high-energy performance

Laura Dern and Woody Harrelson in Wilson.
Photograph: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

Drama

The Observer

Wilson review – Woody Harrelson’s abrasive misfit fails to connect

2 /
5 stars

Daniel Clowes’s graphic novel does not translate well to the big screen, despite the star’s high-energy performance

The lovechild of director Craig Johnson (The Skeleton Twins) and screenwriter and comic book artist Daniel Clowes (Ghost World) was always going to be an abrasive, maladroit loner with the social subtlety of a headbutt. And in this, the misanthropic, gleefully luddite Wilson (Woody Harrelson) doesn’t disappoint. Wilson delights in peeling people away from their electronic devices and engaging them in conversations which invariably feel more like an assault than an exchange of ideas. When he reconnects with his troubled ex-wife (Laura Dern), Wilson learns he has a teenage daughter who was adopted and, for a while at least, he feels part of a dysfunctional family unit. A structure that perhaps worked better in its original graphic novel form feels a little episodic as a movie. Despite the mordant humour and the full-throttle chaos of Harrelson’s performance, we struggle to connect with any emotional truth here.

Watch a trailer for Wilson.



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Wilson review – Woody Harrelson’s abrasive misfit fails to connect